Bush speaks at annual golf tournament for veterans

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former President George W. Bush spoke before wounded veterans taking part in his Warrior Open on Thursday, saying the tournament could be characterized in different ways: “One, you can call it the ‘Courageous Open,’ or you can call it ‘There’s No Self-Pity Here Open.'”.

“Any way you call it, we thank you for coming to support the men and women who have worn our uniform and the courage they’ve shown,” Bush said before the golfers headed out for the second day of the tournament, held at the Las Colinas Country Club in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

This is the fourth year for the tournament, whose participants were injured while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s part of the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, housed at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Twenty-one active and retired military members are participating in the two-day, 36-hole tournament. The Warrior Open also includes a pro-am in which the veterans are playing with PGA Tour professionals, including Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw.

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Bush chatted, took pictures and shook hands with the golfers as they headed out with the professionals.

U.S. Army Cpl. Chad Pfeifer, who won the Warrior Open in all three previous years, returned for a fourth and ended up coming in second. His left leg was amputated above the knee after his vehicle was hit with a pressure plate IED in 2007 in Iraq. After learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg, he began playing golf as a form of therapy.

This year’s winner — retired U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Rodney Gorman — is being invited to play in the 2015 American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament held at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in July. Pfeifer played in this year’s tournament as part of a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces and ended up finishing fifth, prompting the tournament to allow future Warrior Open winners to play as well.

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